19,000 Soldiers, Officers Dispatched to Quake Zone
   2013-04-22 22:39:23    Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao

A total of 19,000 soldiers and officers from China's military and armed police forces have been sent to quake-hit areas in Sichuan Province, rushing to find survivors while helping resettle 24,000 locals.

Zhou Xiaozhou, head of the rescue headquarters of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC), said that troops had rescued four people out of debris, treated 2,875 injured and transferred some 1,355 tonnes of relief materials as of 12 a.m. Monday.

"We're still within the 'golden' 72 hours after the quake, and our troops will continue to give priority to rescuing lives," Zhou said, adding that soldiers and officers are trying to enter every village in the quake-hit region.

The 7.0-magnitude that struck Lushan County of Sichuan's Ya'an City at 8:02 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday had claimed at least 188 lives and left with more than 11,000 people injured. More than 1.5 million people have been affected by the disaster.

Meanwhile, the troops are exhausting every means to send relief materials to affected areas as soon as possible as many regions still lack water, food, tents and medicine, according to Zhou.

He added that special teams dispatched by the army have also begun working in the region to offer medical treatment, psychological consultations and epidemic prevention efforts.

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